Sports TV News
ESPN To End High Noon At End Of March
“Replacing High Noon on ESPN weekdays from 4 – 4:30pm ET will be Jalen & Jacoby which moves over from ESPN2. A plan for filling the 2pm void left by Jalen & Jacoby on ESPN 2 was not announced.”
ESPN is making changes to their daytime lineup as the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports High Noon with Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre is being canceled.
According to Ourand, the final episode of High Noon will air sometime at the end of March, falling short of its two-year anniversary. The show originally launched with its full name High Noon (9am Pacific) as a one-hour daily show in Jun. 2018. But just three months later, ESPN canceled SportsNation and replaced it with High Noon. Since Sept. 2018, High Noon has aired as a half-hour show at 4pm ET on ESPN.
Replacing High Noon on ESPN weekdays from 4 – 4:30pm ET will be Jalen & Jacoby which moves over from ESPN2. A plan for filling the 2pm void left by Jalen & Jacoby on ESPN 2 was not announced.
Last November, The Washington Post reported ESPN was running focus groups on High Noon to help decide its future. It would seem those tests didn’t signal enough interest to keep the show going. “Co-hosts Pablo Torre and Bomani Jones are extremely talented, and they helmed what we believed was a smart and nuanced show. Unfortunately, not enough people agreed with us,” ESPN said in an emailed statement to Ourand.
According to Ourand, ESPN cited poor viewership as the reason the show will be canceled. So for High Noon was averaging 330,000 viewers in the first quarter, which is lower than other ESPN debate shows, but not by much. Dan Le Batard’s Highly Questionable has averaged 404,000 viewers, while Mike Greenberg’s Get Up! Is averaging 380,000.
The High Noon hosts will continue appearing on ESPN for now, with Jones also recording his twice weekly podcast, but questions remain about their futures with the network. The contracts for both Jones and Torre are set to expire next month.
“We look forward to discussing with them how to best utilize their talents across a variety of ESPN platforms,” ESPN added in their emailed statement to Ourand, which at least publicly signals an interest in continuing their relationship with Jones and Torre.
The idea for High Noon with Jones and Torre was created under former ESPN president John Skipper, who now runs DAZN. With Bomani having two master’s degrees in economics and Torre being a Harvard graduate, High Noon looked to set itself apart with intellect. But as Jones and Torre near free agency and High Noon gets cut from ESPN, Skipper’s DAZN is reportedly interested in producing more debate style shows, having been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Skip Bayless if he leaves FS1.
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.